Angus Buchanan (VC)

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Angus Buchanan

Angus Buchanan VC.jpg
Born(1894-09-11)11 September 1894
Coleford, Gloucestershire
Died1 March 1944(1944-03-01) (aged 49)
Gloucester, Gloucestershire
Coleford Cemetery
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch British Army
Years of service1914 – 1917
UnitSouth Wales Borderers
Battles/warsWorld War I
AwardsUK Victoria Cross ribbon bar.svg Victoria Cross
Military Cross
Order of St. Vladimir 4th Class with Swords (Russia)
Other workSolicitor

Angus Buchanan, VC MC (11 August 1894 – 1 March 1944) was an English recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.

Early life[edit]

Buchanan was the son of a doctor from Coleford, Gloucestershire.[1] He was educated at Monmouth School, where he was head boy.[2] In 1913 he went to Jesus College, Oxford to study classics. One of his tutors described him as "thoroughly Scotch and rather reserved, but a hard worker & likely to be a good influence in the Coll[ege]".[3] He rowed for the college in 1914, played rugby and was Secretary of the Athletics Club. He then joined the army, where he served at Gallipoli and in Mesopotamia. He was awarded the Military Cross in 1916,[4] and was mentioned four times in despatches.[3][5][6]

Award of the Victoria Cross[edit]

Buchanan was 21 years old, and a temporary captain in the 4th Battalion, South Wales Borderers, British Army during the First World War when the action for which he received his Victoria Cross took place, in the attempts to relive the British forces besieged at Kut. On 5 April 1916 at the Falauyah Lines he rescued two wounded men while under heavy enemy fire. The award was announced in a supplement to the London Gazette of 26 September 1916:

War Office, 26th September, 1916.,
His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to award the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned Officers, Non-commissioned Officers and Men:—
Lt. (temp. Capt.) Angus Buchanan, S. Wales Bord.
For most conspicuous bravery. During an attack an officer was lying out in the open severely wounded about 150 yards from cover. Two men went to his assistance and one of them was hit at once. Captain Buchanan, on seeing this, immediately went out and, with the help of the other man, carried the wounded officer to cover under heavy machine gun fire. He then returned and brought in the wounded man, again under heavy fire.

–London Gazette[7]

On 8 November 1917 he was invested with the Victoria Cross and the Military Cross at a ceremony on Durdham Downs, Bristol, by King George V. The ceremony was recorded by Pathé News (see External links). Buchanan had previously been awarded the Russian decoration of the Order of St. Vladimir 4th Class (with Swords) in July 1916.[8]

Later life[edit]

On 13 February 1917 Buchanan was shot in the head by a sniper and permanently blinded.[3] He attributed his survival to the care of his batman, Private Mark Perry.[9] He rejoined Jesus College after the war and read law, rowing for the college in 1919 despite his blindness.[3] After graduating in 1921, he worked in a solicitor's office in Oxford before returning to Coleford to work until his death in 1944.[3] In 1921 he attended Monmouth School for the ceremony marking the dedication of the school's war memorial, which he unveiled.[2] Funds were raised in Coleford to mark his bravery and, at Buchanan's request, were used to purchase a playing field for the use of the local children.[10] Buchanan died on 1 March 1944 and was buried in Coleford Cemetery, next to the recreation field named in his honour.[1]

In addition to the playing field at Coleford, Buchanan is also remembered at Monmouth School, where the Upper Sixth Form boarding house, Buchanan House, commemorates him.[11] His Victoria Cross was displayed at the Regimental Museum of The Royal Welsh in Brecon but, following its purchase by Michael Ashcroft in 2013, is now in the Lord Ashcroft VC Collection at The Imperial War Museum.[12][13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Coleford People - Angus Buchanan". Archived from the original (contains photographs of Buchanan and his medals) on 26 September 2007. Retrieved 15 July 2007.
  2. ^ a b "History of the CCF at Monmouth School: A Brief History". Monmouth School. Archived from the original (contains a photograph of Buchanan laying a wreath at the war memorial in 1921) on 5 July 2007. Retrieved 15 July 2007.
  3. ^ a b c d e Dunhill, Rosemary (2006). "From the Archives: A Jesus College VC" (PDF). Jesus College Newsletter (Trinity Term). Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 July 2007. Retrieved 15 July 2007.
  4. ^ "No. 29608". The London Gazette (Supplement). 2 June 1916. pp. 5570–5571.
  5. ^ "No. 29664". The London Gazette (Supplement). 11 July 1916. p. 6948.
  6. ^ "No. 29789". The London Gazette (Supplement). 17 October 1916. p. 10051.
  7. ^ "No. 29765". The London Gazette (Supplement). 26 September 1916. pp. 9417–9418.
  8. ^ "No. 30070". The London Gazette (Supplement). 15 May 1917. p. 4725.
  9. ^ "Captain Angus Buchanan". Victoria Retrieved 2 May 2022.
  10. ^ "Angus Buchanan Recreation Ground, Coleford". Forest of Dean Local History Society. Retrieved 30 April 2022.
  11. ^ "Captain Angus Buchanan VC remembered". Haberdashers' Monmouth Schools. Retrieved 30 April 2022.
  12. ^ "Angus Buchanan VC". Lord Ashcroft Medal Collection. Retrieved 30 April 2022.
  13. ^ "Grave locations for holders of the Victoria Cross in the County of Gloucestershire". Archived from the original (contains a photograph of his grave) on 22 August 2007. Retrieved 15 July 2007.

External links[edit]